Too many burglaries too close together led St. Petersburg police to a trio of teenaged burglars, although some extra effort was required.
"We had such a tight concentration of burglaries in this case that we deployed our case unit, which is our stakeout unit, surveillance unit," spokesman Michael Puetz said.
Within a week detectives took note of two teenage boys on longboards and last Thursday, allegedly caught them exiting a freshly-burglarized home through a rear-window.
Those two suspects led detectives to a third teenager and a quantity of stolen property.
Puetz recounted a total of 17 break-ins between June 14th and July 9th, although in a couple of cases nothing was reported missing. However all of the crimes occurred within a few square blocks in the Old Southeast neighborhood.
That is where 90-year old Gordon Gray and his wife live. Last Thursday, they were running late for a doctor’s appointment when they drove away from their home.
"We saw the two kids coming down the street," Gray recalled Tuesday. "I had a little uncomfortable feeling about it, but we were late, so we had to go."
The Grays returned home to a crime scene: their home was where the first two teens were apprehended.
"They had taken my laptop and what have you, and put it in a bag, and the jewelry they put in another bag," Gray said. "That was all laying in the backyard, so everything that we had lost was there."
Puetz said most, but not all, of the stolen property found in the third suspect's home has also been returned to earlier victims.
"We do have some items that we recovered that we don't know who the owners are, they don't link up to any of the burglaries that we have reported to us," Puetz said.
Some of it may be evidence in burglaries that have not yet been discovered. Detectives think the trio also disposed of a lot of stolen property by selling it on the street.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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